1 July 2020 at 9:28 pm #574663
The performance of C/2019 Y4 (ATLAS) and C/2020 F8 (SWAN) has made me somewhat reluctant to make any more predictions about comets but it may be third time lucky with C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE). This comet was discovered in March and, like 2020 F8 and 2019 Y4, it is a small object with a close (<0.3 au) perihelion. Prior to perihelion (July 3rd) it was visible from the southern hemisphere and it was visible in the SOHO LASCO C3 coronagraph between June 23 and 27. Observations by Michael Mattiazzo in early June showed that it was looking healthy and had a nice tail. Carl Hergenrother reported the comet as first magnitude this morning from Tucson when it was 3 deg above his local horizon and the Sun was only 7 deg below the horizon.
The comet is currently very low in the morning sky for us on the border of Auriga and Gemini. From 51.5 deg N on July 4th it will be 4 deg above the NE horizon at 02:30 UT with the Sun 9 deg down. This will be a very challenging observation but the comet may be even brighter then so it is worth the effort if the weather cooperates.
Having now mentioned it the comet will probably immediately disintegrate. If it doesn’t I’ll post more details on the Comet Section page shortly.
Attachments:3 July 2020 at 10:47 am #582720
Cloud and brightening dawn here in Crawley too. Venus a little to the right was well seen as able to penetrate thin sheet of cloud. Too optimistic I suppose . Try again tomorrow if weather permits3 July 2020 at 10:50 am #582719Peter CarsonParticipant
I gave it a go. At around 03:00BST all looked good but by the time the comet had cleared the horizon it was behind the only lump of cloud in the sky!
Oh well, back to bed.
Peter3 July 2020 at 12:07 pm #582721
I had similar conditions but I think I got it (see attached). I have images taken 10 mins earlier that show stars so I can get a good reference position for the expected azimuth and elevation and it is in the right place. It is also moving at sidereal rate from images before and after this one.4 July 2020 at 9:46 am #582724
A nice capture here [external link]
There may be a patch of clear weather up here Mon morning…4 July 2020 at 2:51 pm #582725Robin LeadbeaterParticipant
Wow. the animated sequence linked from there showing it rising out of the clouds is pretty stunning4 July 2020 at 3:04 pm #582726
I agree. I didn’t post a link to the animated image series because such things appear to be strangely unpopular.4 July 2020 at 3:42 pm #582727
It is an impressive sequence. At the risk of unpopularity here is the link! The comet is probably mag 1 or so at the moment but seen against a very bright sky. As you say, Monday looks like our best chance weather-wise over the next few days. I’ll certainly be making the effort to get up early.4 July 2020 at 6:07 pm #582728
Space weather.com is showing a an animated frame and a series of Stills by Michael Jaeger now on 4th July’s page.
No mountains in Sussex to get above the clouds I am afraid and no 11 inch RASA to hand alas. Very good images from one of the most accomplished Astro Phtographers4 July 2020 at 6:39 pm #582729
Yes 🙂 , I noticed he used his superfast 11in RASA. The good thing is that light gathering capacity isn’t the limiting factor here. It’s the weather that has to play ball – as you say.4 July 2020 at 8:36 pm #582730
The provenance seems legit… C/2020 F3 from the ISS6 July 2020 at 3:46 am #582731David StrangeParticipant
Sorry, cloudy here in Devon. Could only catch a fleeting glance of Capella every now and again.
David6 July 2020 at 3:58 am #582732
Clear in Chelmsford this morning. Here is a single raw 3.2s frame of C/2020 F3 from this morning (for some reason my images are really dark when uploaded to the BAA site, the original is here. I have lots of frames which I’ll process properly after work today but need some sleep now. Great view in binoculars. Didn’t see it naked eye but theta Aur was very hard NE that low in a bright sky.6 July 2020 at 7:06 am #582733Clive NansonParticipant
Rose at 02:30 BST only to find the NE horizon totally blanketed in cloud. Occasionally, I glimpsed Venus in the east through fleeting gaps. Typically the clouds had completely cleared away by 04:00 but far too bright by then.6 July 2020 at 8:03 am #582734Stewart MooreParticipant
Observing visually in 15X70s and 10X50s over sea from Frinton at altitude of approx 20m above local sea level from 01:45 to 02:45UT. Capella easy but no sign of comet. As sky brightened realised there was low lying cloud / sea haze covering NE horizon for about 5 degrees up. Will travel to Chelmsford next time!6 July 2020 at 8:52 am #582735owen brazellParticipant
Observed from Oxfordshire about 03:10 (BST) as the streamer of cloud to the north cleared. Great view in 7×50 binoculars which I followed until about 03:40. Long tail and the comet appeared a golden colour. Certainly one of the better comet views of late. Shame that the forecast now clouds me out for the rest of the week.6 July 2020 at 9:07 am #582736Alan DowdellParticipant
I stood in the middle of corn field to the west of Newbury in order to get to see the eastern horizon. But from 02.00 – 03.30 the only clouds in the sky were sitting over the comets position. Good views of Venus and the moon behind me as well. But no comet this morning. Never mind at least I tried.6 July 2020 at 9:26 am #582737Andrew RobertsonParticipant
It was wonderful, just what a comet should look like. Got it initially below Theta Auriga in 7×50 bins at 2.30am (BST) when it was only 2 1/4 degs up. Used my tripod ladder with its legs fully extended to clear obstructions and get the view low down, my feet were 5 feet of the ground. After initial pick up switched to 15 x 70 bins. Observed until about 3.10 am when I did get a brief N/E glimpse but thereafter the sky started brightening so packed in at 3.15am.
Andrew, South Norfolk6 July 2020 at 10:36 am #582738Peter CarsonParticipant
Better luck this morning. I watched this comet rise in binoculars and followed it until daylight. Lovely sight. It was just visible to the naked eye as a point of light.
Very lucky with the weather.
Peter6 July 2020 at 3:44 pm #582739
Just down loaded images from morning observation night of 5/6 July. Although nothing could be see either naked eye or in 10×50 Binoculars The Camera has caught the Comet . So am now as pleased as a Comet with several tails. Camera Sony 65a Slt with Samyang 85mm F1.4 Lens 200iso 1.25 sec Spot metering Crop of frame.
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